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Suggestions for Family Movie Night?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
My girls 4.5 and 2.5 LOVE the idea of movie nights, but they just haven't been working out for us lately. I'm in need of some suggestions of movies that are appropriate for little guys. I'm not as worried about O, at 2.5 she doesn't have much of an attention span for an entire movie, so she wanders away and plays a bit, etc, but R at 4.5, is glued to it until it is over. And I am finding they are often too emotionally intense for her. I mean what's with Nemo's Mommy dying in the opening scene??? I could go on forever with examples. She often seems to be okay throughout the movie but then cries at the drop of a hat when it's over, I think she is just emotionally over-stimulated. Also, I'm not into spending my precious 'adult' time prescreening children's movies. So, can you help me out? Not too intense, no over-the-top bad guys would be great, and if she were learning something good, whether educational or moral, etc, that would be even better. Thanks so much!
post #2 of 22

My kids enjoy the following movies, and they're relatively tame in my opinion considering what's out there:

 

My Neighbor Totoro (the mother is in the hospital, and one of the girls worries about her dying, but the mom is fine, a very sweet movie)

 

Ponyo (has an intense storm scene but everyone comes out okay, later the boy worries about not finding his mom, but he does, it's a really sweet unique movie) 

 

Cars (not too intense, no real bad guys although one is not so nice, a potentially scary combine scene, "idiot" is used as well as some other possible not so nice language.."stupid" maybe?) 

 

WALL-E (has some laser shooting and some action, but it's brief and not too intense, and it's a really sweet movie overall) 

 

Winnie the Pooh (2011) (I can think of nothing objectionable but it might be too tame for parents or some kids even) 

 

 

 

 

post #3 of 22

We have occasional "movie" nights but we do find it tough to find movies that are not violent, sad or obnoxious.  We've found very few that are truly ok.  The main one is Mary Poppins.  Both the 2011 Winnie the Pooh and the original Winnie the Pooh movie have also worked well for us.  The first Toy Story went ok (though some violence) and Ponyo was great.

 

We also will watch non-violent animal documentaries or episodes of the Backyardigans or Super Why. 

 

 

post #4 of 22

http://www.kids-in-mind.com/

 

You might find this movie review website helpful.

post #5 of 22

I also find www.commonsensemedia.org to be very useful.

 

post #6 of 22

     Quote:

Originally Posted by parsley View Post

I also find www.commonsensemedia.org to be very useful.

 


I love that one too!  It's what they use on Netflix as a guide.  

post #7 of 22

We have a "movie" night almost every Friday.  We have watched some kid-friendly movies but our favorites to watch are documentaries like Planet Earth, Life, Blue Planet, etc...  My older two are very interested in them and the younger two (3.5 years) usually cuddle up and watch at least half before they fall asleep.  I like that they're only about an hour long.  

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Marmalade View Post

We have a "movie" night almost every Friday.  We have watched some kid-friendly movies but our favorites to watch are documentaries like Planet Earth, Life, Blue Planet, etc...  My older two are very interested in them and the younger two (3.5 years) usually cuddle up and watch at least half before they fall asleep.  I like that they're only about an hour long.  


I was going to suggest documentaries as well, with the caution that some nature docs can have some fairly violent stuff in them showing predator and prey interactions. For small children whose daily experience with animals is only with pets or cute, anthropomorphized talking animals in books and cartoons, the scenes could be upsetting. 

 

There are the Veggie Tales, if you don't mind religious-themed entertainment. 

 

You can also try old movies - Charlie Chaplin silent films, Shirley Temple musicals, that sort of thing. 

 

 

 

 

post #9 of 22

My kids love musicals -  The Sound of music would probably be enjoyed by your guys, my kids also love Annie, Hairspray and Mama Mia as well.  While I don't think there's anything offensive or particularily scary ( sound of music and annie have a few dramatic scenes), they all have some themes that you'd probably want to discuss with your 4 yo.  They also enjoy animal movies, like Fly away home (about teaching baby geese to fly south for winter). 

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all the replies. I've added quite a few to my zip list, and will try some Planet Earth types with them and see if they are ready for those. We did try Disney Earth a while back and it went over okay, but it was quite a while ago so worth a try again... Also, I LOVE the kids in mind site, they've done all my homework for me! Fantastic. Thanks for sharing! And keep 'me coming if you've got anymore suggestions! It's even tougher to find a movie that my husband would enjoy watching with us too, I could be happy snuggled up with my girls, a bowl of popcorn and pooh bear - him, not so much! wink1.gif
post #11 of 22

DS really likes Hammy the Hamster movies... they are cuuuuuute with real animals, not a cartoon. http://www.amazon.com/Hammy-Hamster-Finds-Riverbank-Boothouse/dp/B0000CD5JD

 

And there are a million of those Buddy movies with the puppies: Air Buddies, Snow Buddies, Santa Buddies, Space Buddies... and we just watched Treasure Buddies. I must say the puppies are cute and the peril is very low key.

 

Some of the older Disney movies like Aristocats and Lady and the Tramp are not too emotional or scary. The villians are pretty low key.

post #12 of 22

We've all enjoyed the Disney "Buddies" movies (Space Buddies & Snow Buddies) starring really cute golden retreiver pups.  Feel good movies that weren't scary.  Others that have gone over well in our family:

 

Wall-e

 

Mr. Popper's Penguins

 

Happy Feet

 

Eight Below

(at least one pretty scary scene that we fast forwarded thru, when a walrus attacked a seal IIRC, but a good movie overall)

 

Ratatouille

 

Stuart Little

 

Annie didn't go over well at all in our house.  They were pretty upset by it.

post #13 of 22

We recently started a "movie night" too.  A few good ones that we saw are Elmo in Grouchland (good as a very first one), Winnie-the-Pooh (original feature-length movie, made up of a few shorter stories, totally wonderful of course), The Muppet Movie (original. Awesome movie, but has some lovey-dovey stuff with Miss Piggy, that I had to explain to my boys), Cars (totally appropriate and gentle), and Ratatouille (fun and funny, also some "love scenes"). Mary Poppins is great and classic, of course.

post #14 of 22
my girls are very sensitive to what they see on the screen, but i'd also suggest:
Charlotte's web ( the 73 cartoony)
Tinkerbell
post #15 of 22

+1 older movies: Mary Poppins, 101 Dalmations, The Shaggy Dog, Heidi with Shirley Temple, etc. (now that they are older, my kids also like Marx Bros., Singing in the Rain)

 

+1 Veggie Tales - We are not religious, so we overlooked that part because they are quirky and funny (and have totally catchy songs). You could probably check out some clips on YouTube.

 

+1 Muppets & Winnie-the-Pooh movies are fun and mellow. How about Curious George?

 

+1 The awesomeness of My Neighbor Totoro (and all of the Studio Ghibli movies, only some are not suitable for kids that young).

post #16 of 22

The Little House on the Prairie series can be good for what you want. There are years of it available.  Some of the plot lines are a little intense, but for the most part they are not.

 

Amazingly poor on the morals side, but Dukes of Hazzard is pretty fun and my sensitive DD is somehow not bothered by the plots - something about yee-haw and jumping cars makes it fun and not scary?  And the mobile brothels and whatnot go over their heads.  Admittedly I have called an end to this one for now for us - the way women are portrayed drives me nuts - but the kids like it and it's mostly harmless. 

 

Tjej

 

ETA: And I will say that many of the mentioned movies scare my DD.  Tinkerbell.  Pooh's Heffalump movie.  Pretty much anything where anyone gets lost.  Ugh.  Anyway, maybe it is the real people instead of cartoons or something, but the above are easier for her to handle.

post #17 of 22

You never know what they will find scary! DD1 was terrified by a dream on the PBS show Arthur with a character made of food. shrug.gif

post #18 of 22

Curious George

Cars

Milo and Otis

 

post #19 of 22

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyGrant View Post

WALL-E (has some laser shooting and some action, but it's brief and not too intense, and it's a really sweet movie overall) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm still upset that Wall-E left the cockroach behind.   

post #20 of 22

I'd be careful with the Shirley Temple movies. The ones that have African American characters are super racist. Think minstrel type caricatures. I don't mind having the discussion with my older kiddo but its definitely not something I want my littles to see.

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